Watch: Run away and join the circus in Ipswich’s Chantry Park with the Netherlands National Circus
- Credit: Archant
The finest magicians, gymnasts and contortionists perform their most impressive tricks in Chantry Park this week before moving across the country and continent to dazzle audiences across the channel.
The international cast come from all across Europe and the all-human spectacular features a fantastic laser show and aerial acrobatics.
Ringmaster Daniel Lighthart, 40, has worked in circuses since 1997 - even playing a clown with the Netherlands National Circus in 2015 - and describes it as a job for life.
“They have a saying in our business: When you wear out your first pair of shoes at the circus, you don’t buy another one,” he said.
“I have done a lot of different jobs on my way to becoming a ringmaster, as you get older your body and your talents change. I used to be an acrobat and I have been a clown but now I’m better at performing like this.
“I like the interaction with the public - we practice and perform the same show for up to nine months a year, but when the audience get involved anything can happen, so it makes the show a little different every time.”
Nationally, circus entertainment has been given a massive boost this year by the box office smash success of the film The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, which tells the story of circus king PT Barnum.
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Mr Lighthart added: “I’ve found a lot more people are asking to take a picture with me now rather than the other performers thanks to the film. As long as I have my jacket on, everyone loves me.”
Dynamic clown duo Kim and Sarita had some advice for anyone who was thinking about running away to join the circus as well.
Kim said: “Being a clown is one of the biggest jobs in the circus. You need to be an actor, a mime and it helps if you can dance too. It’s all about building up a character and trying to be unique: every clown is different and has a personality, just like human beings.
He added: “This is the best job in the world, where else would I get to do what I love every day?”
The Netherlands National Circus is performing every day until Sunday September 30. Tickets can be booked here.